July 15, 2020
Cause of death: Shooting
Last updated: almost 2 years ago
On July 15, 2020, Stockon Police Department (SPD) officers tried to arrest 39-year-old Antwane Burrise in connection with a shooting death the previous month in the area. At the time, Burrise was moving his car from an unauthorized parking spot outside of his apartment complex. Burrise's family claims that multiple officers surveilled him leaving his apartment and entering and starting his car, and that as he was moving his car, opened fire.
SPD stated that officers considered Burrise to be armed and dangerous as they pursued a warrant for his arrest. According to SPD statements, officers attempted to block Burrise, and he accelerated in reverse in an attempt to run over an undercover officer, which prompted the officers to take fire. Burrise was taken to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Investigators located a loaded handgun underneath one of the seats in Burrise's vehicle, as well as an illegally modifed loaded assault rifle within arm's reach of Burrise.
On August 4, 2020, SPD has released an incident summary that includes body camera footage. During a press conference, SPD Chief Eric Jones claimed that community members expressed fear of Burrise and that investigators believe he was connected to other shootings, gang activity, and violent crimes committed in Stockton.
Burrise's family members assert that he was not a gang member and wouldn't have been foolish enough to try ramming an officer with his car to escape. Burrise's family also noted that he was partially paralyzed from previous gunshot injuries and wouldn't have been able to escape on foot or easily move in response to commands. They stated that they believe officers were aware of this and as a result had no reason to discharge their weapons. Additionally, the family questions why SPD officers did not take into consideration Burrise's post traumatic stress disorder when interacting with him. Burrise's family also claims that police told them there was a homicide warrant issued for Burrise, but that they were unable to find any records of such with the district attorney's office.
According to Recordnet.com,
Burrise was on post-release community supervision after being released from prison in April, as well as on federal probation for being a felon in possession of a firearm and other fraud-related crimes.
A countywide critical incident investigation involving the San Joaquin County Coroner's Office, the District Attorney Bureau of Investiagions, the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office, and the California Department of Justice launched after the shooting. Burrise's family called for the body camera footage to be released; it was released in August of 2020.
One of the officers involved, David Wells, was cleared in 2018 in the 2016 shooting death of 30-year-old Colby Friday
On August 23, 2020, family and friends of Burrise demonstrated outside of City Hall to raise awareness of his death and the subsequent investigation.
On Friday, March 19, 2021, family and friends of Burrise and local community organizers held a rally outside of City Hall to raise awareness of Burrise's death and the investigation as well as make demands regarding the Stockton Police Department (SPD). These demands included disbandment of the SPD critical response team, the reduce of firearm use, and a retraction on record of Chief Eric Jones. Burrise's family still also voiced concerns that Burrise's previous criminal history would be used to excuse the officers' actions and justify his death.